Alienware Advanced Gaming Keyboard
Pay for the name, stay for the switches
The Alienware Advanced Gaming Keyboard is quite an attractive bit of kit. Given Alienware’s general aesthetic it’s a little understated; a black, angular slab of plastic with lighting around the edges and the blue alien head situated in the top right, but that understatement is what we like about it. We’re less pleased about the barebones packaging – there is a padded wrist rest that slides up against the oddly angled front of the keyboard, but you have to buy it separately – and the lack of any backlighting, which is very disappointing at the price point. So do we like the Alienware Advanced Gaming Keyboard, or not? The answer is a little of both.
First the good stuff. The keyboard is well-built and features Kailh Brown switches, giving the keys a nice heavy, tactile feel. Some might be put off by the heavier force needed to depress the keys but for our money, the Brown are the best of the commonly available Cherry MX switches and similarly coloured knockoff. For $169 it’s disappointing that Alienware have opted for a Cherry clone rather than the real deal, but the Kailh switches do perform well. It’s not short on switches either, with a row of macro keys down the left hand side and three volume buttons above the numpad. And the bad? Well, ultimately it all seems to come down to the same root cause – the Alienware brand. There are many other keyboards on the market just as well built, with more features at the same or a lower price point. It seems like the biggest premium here is the brand name. Unless you’re an Alienware purist, the Alienware Advanced Gaming Keyboard is not worth the asking price. DANIEL WILKS